Five recommended KL restaurants for business lunches

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Makan Kitchen, the signature restaurant of DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur is a splendid showcase for Malaysian cuisineMakan Kitchen, the signature restaurant of DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur is a splendid showcase for Malaysian cuisineMakan Kitchen, the signature restaurant of DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur is a splendid showcase for Malaysian cuisine

By Sean Yoong

The magic of a marvellous meal can work wonders to transform a business lunch into a genuine pleasure. Here are some strategically located and scrumptiously tempting restaurants to consider the next time you schedule that all-important appointment. (Note: The following outlets are pork-free.)

1. MAKAN KITCHEN

The signature restaurant of DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur is a splendid showcase for Malaysian cuisine. Seating 350 persons, Makan Kitchen is a spacious, lively venue with a striking setting that reflects the country’s unique cultures. Guests can savour the best of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Peranakan, Kristang and Iban delights, whipped up at interactive open kitchens. Recommendations include satay anika, fish tikka, dim sum and pansuh manuk (marinated chicken cooked in bamboo). Makan Kitchen has private rooms available and offers an a la carte menu or a lunch buffet at RM68++ per person.

DoubleTree by Hilton, 348, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: +603-2172-7272

2. LA VIE EN ROSE

photo credit: Yahoo!photo credit: Yahoo!photo credit: Yahoo!

Nestled in a bungalow on a slope, La Vie En Rose is a rare and ravishing oasis of calm in the city centre, with a terrace that features a view of both decades-old shop-houses and modern skyscrapers. The ambiance alone makes for a refreshing change from sterile office environments, but the food is equally enticing. La Vie En Rose’s kitchen excels in rustic French cooking, with specialities such as lobster bisque, duck leg confit and slow-cooked lamb shoulder. Sweeten your business negotiations with desserts that include profiteroles with Chantilly cream, vanilla crème brulee and house-made sorbets. La Vie En Rose’s lunch hours are 12 to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday-Friday.

3. HANARE

One of KL’s most elegant Japanese restaurants, this is a sleek and stylish option that’s ideal for any sashimi-loving executive. Take a table near the open kitchen where chefs with long years of experience ply their craft or choose a private room for extra exclusivity. Hanare’s highlights comprise premium seasonal seafood that’s carefully chosen from Tokyo’s Tsukiji market and regularly flown into KL for satisfying levels of freshness. Nibble on succulent cuts of salmon, tuna, tairagi (pen shell) and much more; perfect for corporate clients if your expense account allows it.

Ground Floor, The Intermark, Jalan Tun Razak. Tel: +603-2164-2133

4. RIL’S BANGSAR

Photo credit: Ril's BangsarPhoto credit: Ril's BangsarPhoto credit: Ril’s Bangsar

If a hearty steak lunch feels like the surest way into your boss’ heart, then head to Ril’s Bangsar, the 2013 winner of Time Out KL’s public-voted ‘Best Meat’ Food Award. Ril’s is a steakhouse that exudes classiness in the heart of the trendy Telawi neighbourhood. Try to indulge in a three-course lunch if you have time; start with the red snapper carpaccio paired with pink grapefruit, then move on to a beautifully seared grass-fed Australian rib-eye steak before wrapping up with a delectable chocolate fondant.

30 Jalan Telawi 5, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: +603-2201-3846

5. SIMPLY MEL’S

This family-owned restaurant is a slightly more casual choice but it remains a strong recommendation for professionals seeking an unpretentious, comfortable venue where the mood is easy-going and the food is prepared with plenty of heart. Come hungry and share a feast of Malaccan-Portuguese cuisine lovingly crafted by chef Melba Nunis. A humdrum workweek can swiftly be spiced up with some kari keluak (chicken cooked in a pleasantly sourish curry infused with the flavour of the Indonesian black keluak nut) or kari pimento (fish prepared in a peppery curry with aubergines or ladies’ fingers).

First Floor, The Sphere, Bangsar South, Jalan Kerinchi, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: +603-2241-4525

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